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NATURE OF THE INTERACTION BETWEEN THE PHOTOACTIVE COMPOUND PHENYLHEPTATRIYNE AND ANIMAL VIRUSES

J. Hudson, E. Graham, G. Towers
Published 1982 · Biology, Medicine

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Abstract The mechanism of action of the phototoxic polyacetylene phenylheptatriyne (PHT) against viruses was investigated. For this purpose the membrane containing mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV) was treated with PHT in long wave UV light, and several functions of the virus were then examined. Following this treatment MCMV retained its structural integrity, as revealed by electron microscopy, resistance to exogenous deoxyribonuclease, and sedimentation‐velocity. The treated virus was also normal in its ability to penetrate into the nuclei of susceptible mouse cells. Replication of the virus was defective, however, in that infectious centers could not be established and no infectious progeny resulted. Two RNA‐containing viruses, Sindbis and infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV, a fish virus), both of which contain membranes, were inactivated by PHT in long wave UV as efficiently as MCMV. In contrast, the fish virus IPNV (infectious pancreatic necrosis virus), which does not possess a membrane, was resistant to PHT. Thus, it appears that PHT, in the presence of long wave UV, exerts its action via the viral membrane and as a consequence the viral genome, DNA or RNA, is unable to replicate.
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